Ohio sex offender news 2008. Ohio Supreme Court strikes down part of sex offender law.



Ohio sex offender news 2008

Ohio sex offender news 2008

Ohio Supreme Court strikes down part of sex offender law Updated June 4, at 2: COLUMBUS, Ohio — A 2-year-old state law that reclassified thousands of people convicted of past sex crimes and shoved them into a category set up for the worst kinds of predators is unconstitutional, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

In a 5-to-1 decision , the court said the legislature, in its rush to comply with a federally mandated Adam Walsh Act, gave the state attorney general inappropriate power to retroactively undo judicial sentences imposed before the new law took effect on Jan.

The ruling means more than 26, Ohioans convicted of sex crimes prior to will be shifted back under Ohio's far-less rigid former sexual offender registry system, known as Megan's Law. For Ohio residents, the ruling means they will have less information available to them about sex criminals in their neighborhoods. The most serious sexual predators convicted before will still appear on online registries maintained by sheriffs, but people convicted of lesser crimes will disappear from the registries.

For example, Anthony Sowell, the accused serial rapist and murderer in Cleveland, was one of those people shifted from the lowest risk category under Megan's Law to the highest risk when the Act took affect in Under the Thursday's ruling, Sowell could again be considered a low-risk sexual offender for his attempted-rape conviction.

An earlier version of this story misstated the crime Sowell was convicted of. The court disagreed with Cordray, saying that narrow portion of the Act was a major clog that kept the entire sexual offender law from being constitutional.

At the time, some states had similar sexual offender tracking rules, but no two states were the same. Under the Act, people convicted of sex crimes and still subject to reporting rules -- periodically telling authorities where they live and work -- were reclassified as Tier I, II or III offenders.

Under the old system -- Megan's Law -- the categories were sexually oriented offender, habitual sex offender and sexual predator. An offender was sentenced and placed in an offender category based on how likely the judge thought that person might offend again.

But under the Adam Walsh Act, offenders are labeled based on the crime for which they were convicted. For thousands of Ohio offenders, it meant going from a low-risk, under-the-radar status with reporting mandates for a decade to suddenly being in a high-risk, Tier III category with lifetime reporting requirements. They said the only thing that matters is what you were convicted of. His reporting requirements were to stop in But under the new law, he was thrown into the Tier III category.

The court said allowing the attorney general to override a judge's sentence, such as, in Bodyke's case, is unconstitutional. The court said its ruling does not apply to the nearly 5, offenders who have either been convicted or moved into the state since the Act took effect in Ohio has nearly 31, registered sex offenders, though that number is likely to be lower once Cordray updates the list to fit the court's order.

There figures to be some like Bodyke, who will revert back to their original reporting guidelines and learn they have completed their requirements. The ruling also means Ohio will have two separate sexual registry reporting systems -- one for those convicted prior to and one for those convicted after.

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Ohio sex offender news 2008

Ohio Supreme Court strikes down part of sex offender law Updated June 4, at 2: COLUMBUS, Ohio — A 2-year-old state law that reclassified thousands of people convicted of past sex crimes and shoved them into a category set up for the worst kinds of predators is unconstitutional, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

In a 5-to-1 decision , the court said the legislature, in its rush to comply with a federally mandated Adam Walsh Act, gave the state attorney general inappropriate power to retroactively undo judicial sentences imposed before the new law took effect on Jan. The ruling means more than 26, Ohioans convicted of sex crimes prior to will be shifted back under Ohio's far-less rigid former sexual offender registry system, known as Megan's Law. For Ohio residents, the ruling means they will have less information available to them about sex criminals in their neighborhoods.

The most serious sexual predators convicted before will still appear on online registries maintained by sheriffs, but people convicted of lesser crimes will disappear from the registries. For example, Anthony Sowell, the accused serial rapist and murderer in Cleveland, was one of those people shifted from the lowest risk category under Megan's Law to the highest risk when the Act took affect in Under the Thursday's ruling, Sowell could again be considered a low-risk sexual offender for his attempted-rape conviction.

An earlier version of this story misstated the crime Sowell was convicted of. The court disagreed with Cordray, saying that narrow portion of the Act was a major clog that kept the entire sexual offender law from being constitutional. At the time, some states had similar sexual offender tracking rules, but no two states were the same. Under the Act, people convicted of sex crimes and still subject to reporting rules -- periodically telling authorities where they live and work -- were reclassified as Tier I, II or III offenders.

Under the old system -- Megan's Law -- the categories were sexually oriented offender, habitual sex offender and sexual predator.

An offender was sentenced and placed in an offender category based on how likely the judge thought that person might offend again.

But under the Adam Walsh Act, offenders are labeled based on the crime for which they were convicted. For thousands of Ohio offenders, it meant going from a low-risk, under-the-radar status with reporting mandates for a decade to suddenly being in a high-risk, Tier III category with lifetime reporting requirements. They said the only thing that matters is what you were convicted of. His reporting requirements were to stop in But under the new law, he was thrown into the Tier III category.

The court said allowing the attorney general to override a judge's sentence, such as, in Bodyke's case, is unconstitutional. The court said its ruling does not apply to the nearly 5, offenders who have either been convicted or moved into the state since the Act took effect in Ohio has nearly 31, registered sex offenders, though that number is likely to be lower once Cordray updates the list to fit the court's order.

There figures to be some like Bodyke, who will revert back to their original reporting guidelines and learn they have completed their requirements. The ruling also means Ohio will have two separate sexual registry reporting systems -- one for those convicted prior to and one for those convicted after.

Ohio sex offender news 2008

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1 Comments

  1. Delaware and Florida have since complied. For thousands of Ohio offenders, it meant going from a low-risk, under-the-radar status with reporting mandates for a decade to suddenly being in a high-risk, Tier III category with lifetime reporting requirements.

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